New Alumni Learning Series Takes Off

March 3, 2016

Public Conversations Project offers continued learning and engagement opportunities for those who have experienced our work firsthand: the Alumni Learning Collaborative, and it is taking an exciting twist this year! We want to give our alumni an opportunity to bring their particular skillsets into the group, and give them the opportunity to learn from one another. So for the next series, are give some of our alumni an opportunity to talk about how they’ve applied Public Conversations skills to their own work.

More photos here

First up was Culture, Change and Diversity, hosted by our Executive Director Parisa Parsa. We explored why people have such different understandings of race, ethnicity, and cultural difference. Parisa asked us to consider how can we work with groups that are diverse both in perspective and identity. She introduced the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) and small groups engaged in case study exercises to ways to use it as a lens for facilitation.

Next up

In June, alum Kim Crowley and Gloria Francesca Mengual will discuss the concept of "invitations," exploring different ways to invite people to take part in a dialogue. Gloria will share her experience with nonprofit Everyday Democracy, which struggled to attract participants by simply extolling the virtues of dialogue. When people experienced dialogue through an informal conversation, simply over coffee with a friend or an exchange in the community, their excitement was palpable. By shifting the nature of their invitation, the convening organization saw a change in response, an example that will serve as the launchpad for further exploration of "invitations" as a concept.

In September, Public Conversations alum, career coach, and mediator Tad Mayer will lead a workshop on the skills and tools of dialogue that transfer to coaching. Tad will discuss why these principles are so uniquely transferable, where they apply, and how to adapt them in a wide range of concepts. When someone feels paralyzed or directionless, whether professionally or or personally, Tad uses dialogue and mediation skills as a career coach to engage effectively with clients and fulfill their needs.